io6 HISTORY OK PERSIA CHAP. The Downfall of the Nizam-ul-MttlL.....The power and influence of the Great Vizier seemed to remain unimpaired, and when an old man he wrote his celebrated tihls<it Nama, or " Treatise on the Art of Government," which won high praise from his royal master* But nevertheless he fell, and Malik Shah, who resembled Haroun-al-Rashid in his good fortune, has also come down to us with a tarnished name for his dismissal of the Great Vi/ier, even although there was no such tragedy as accompanied the downfall of the Barmecides* It appears that complaint was made against a grand- son of the Nizam-ul-Mulk, and the aged ViyJer, who had doubtless grown overbearing with years, returned an angry reply to his master's reproaches* The incident might have passed unnoticed but for the fact that Turkan Khatun,1 the favourite wife of Malik Shah, was hostile to the Vizier, and consequently he was dismissed* He was not put to death or imprisoned, but shortly after his downfall was assassinated by ajfts/rf/, or devotee, who was believed to have been sent by the famous Hasan Sabbah. There is an old legend to the effect that the Ni/ain~ul- Mulk was at school at Nishapur with Omar Khayyam and Hasan Sabbah, and the three boys swore eternal friend- ship, agreeing that whichever of them succeeded in life should help the other two. The Nizam-uI-Mulk fulfilled his obligation in the case of Omar Khayyam, who refused the governorship of Nishapur but asked for a pension, which was granted* He also found a suitable post for Hasan Sabbah, but the latter intrigued to supplant his benefactor, and on the failure of his designs became the Nizam~ul-Mulk's enemy. This legend is too well known to be passed by, but disparities of age make its truth impossible. As in the case of the Barmecides, profound sympathy was felt for the fallen minister, and it was deepened by his tragic end. The exquisite lines of which the following is a translation are among the elegies in which his fate is commemorated: * Le. "Th« Turkish lady," a title, not a name.